Inhaler at Electric Picnic: Bono’s son’s band make their own noise
Review: Inhaler are casting off the U2 association and marking their own territory
Inhaler frontman Elijah Hewson on the Rankin’s Wood stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Photograph: Dave Meehan for The Irish Times
Using Pink Floyd’s Breathe as the intro music prior to setting foot on stage may not have been the most subtle move on the part of Inhaler, but if any Irish band needs to make an impression, a connection, it is this one. They need to do so in order to dissociate themselves from a fact of birth (lead singer Eli Hewson is Bono’s son), and any perception of a helping hand.
Truth is, Hewson and his four friends make a really good fist of marking their own territory – the music is remarkably well structured rock/pop that, wisely, owes little or no debt to lineage. The good news is it’s so early in the band’s development that - unless fate determines otherwise - they can only get better and even more individual. And look how far Inhaler have come in the past 12 months. At EP last year, they played a very small tent. This year, with just themselves to thank, they pulled a really good gig out of the bag in a sizeable space. Main stage for year three? Don’t bet against it.